Whether you’re a novice fish owner or have had an aquarium for years, owning healthy fish can be a very rewarding experience. Freshwater fish tanks are affordable, easy to set up and maintain, and there is a vast selection of gorgeous, vibrantly-colored healthy fish to add to your new aquarium.

Creating your own ecosystem of plants and animals is guaranteed to bring you joy. Here are five simple tips, to keep your fish alive so they can bring you fulfillment for years to come.

1. Cycle Your Tank Before Adding Any Fish

For folks who are new to the world of fish tanks, the term “cycling a tank” simply means to take the necessary steps to ensure the water conditions are safe for your new fish. This is something that you need to do before even adding fish or plants to the tank.

Cycling includes the growth of healthy micro-organisms inside of the aquarium. These little guys will help to break down waste and create a haven for your fish to thrive, and even help acclimate your copepods.

An important item to note is that you should never cycle your tank if you already have fish in it. This is super unhealthy for them, and not very kind to do.

2. Conduct Routine Water Changes

Regular water changes and aquarium maintenance are critical to keeping a clean fish tank and happy occupants. To change the water, you will need to remove about 1/3 of it from the tank weekly and replace it with clean, fresh water.

This will help to dilute unwanted chemicals in your water and makes it a healthier environment for your fish.

3. Do You Home on Fish Before Purchasing

Before you go out and buy the prettiest fish you see, it’s important to take the time to research the type of fish you wish to buy. You may end up with an aggressive breed of fish that will harass and attack the other ones in the tank.

This will lead to stressed out and unhappy fish.

4. Properly Acclimate Your Copepods

Another great addition to any fish tank is copepods. These cute crustaceans should be introduced to your tank after the lights are out. This is when your fish are less active and will have a tough time seeing the copepods. By morning, the pods will have had sufficient time to acclimate to their new home and hide.

5. Don’t Overfeed Your Fish

Never feed your fish more than they can eat in a couple of minutes. Excess fish food is unhealthy for them and can lead to a dirty tank and disease. To avoid overfeeding fish, some pet owners will set up a feeding and fasting schedule, using one or two days each week when the fish aren’t fed.

Keeping Happy and Healthy Fish

From ensuring you do your research on a new fish to cycling your tank and not overfeeding your healthy fish, these five tips will guarantee that your freshwater aquarium fish will thrive and bring you happiness for years to come.

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